Common Condition of Early Childhood Caries

Early childhood caries (ECC), sometimes referred to as baby bottle decay, is one of the most common conditions specific to infancy and young children. ECC occurs when children are exposed to sugary drinks and foods for prolonged periods of time, and owing to other behaviors, which compromise oral health.

ECC can begin as soon as the first primary teeth erupt, and can progress rapidly, often leading to rampant caries, resulting in premature tooth loss.

Tooth decay affects children five times more than asthma, four times more than obesity, and 20 times more than diabetes, making it by far the most prevalent childhood disease.   Not surprisingly, ECC is most common among the socially and economically disadvantaged, with poor dietary habits and an inability to maintain regular dental visits.

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